Quintin Mikell should be happy the Eagles are set to part ways with him. That notion runs counter to the diaspora effect of free agency that fans typically do not like about the system, watching a long-time team guy finally get the old heave-ho. Watching the St. Louis Rams unceremoniously dump Isaac Bruce, Torry Holt and Orlando Pace hurt more than a little. Business. Mikell, however, is in a little different situation, as opposed to aging player long past his prime.
Free agency, if and when it actually happens, will make Mikell a very wealthy man. Why? He's the best free agent safety on the market, coming off a season which he was considered by some to be the best safety in the NFL.
Back in March, Pro Football Focus ranked Mikell as their top free agent safety. PFF didn't limit that description with the qualifier though; he was their top-ranked safety overall last year, breaking up or intercepting 14 passes.
Mikell was equally impressive as a run defender and as a cover man, leading our grading in both departments. With most safeties clearly stronger in one area or the other, Mikell stands out as a legit all-around talent and his eight seasons of experience position him well as a mentor if surrounded by youth. Because of his age, he won't get the long deal that some others on this list will, but he'll find a suitor happily willing to pay him handsomely to solidify their secondary.
If that doesn't scream Spagnuolo safety, I don't know what does.
Over at Advanced NFL Stats, Mikell made their season best-of list too.
The Eagles' Quintin Mikell is second in the NFC with 1.68 +WPA [win probability added] and leads the league in +EPA [expected points added] with 56.0. Mikell has 1 sack, 15 passes defended, 1 QB hit, a forced fumble, 5 tackles for losses, and 3 interceptions. His biggest play was a 52-yard fumble return for a TD in the 4th quarter of the Eagles' game against the 49ers.
And he made a mockery of the 49ers? Sign this guy. Now. But in all seriousness...
The question here for the Rams is money and to a lesser extent roster space. The money question is the biggest here. As we've mentioned over and over again, and as evidenced by the Rams dalliance with Oshiomogho Atogwe over the last two years: Spagnuolo doesn't put a big premium on safeties.
Doubtlessly the Rams would apply the $3 million due James Butler to whatever deal they signed Mikell to, as Mikell would replace him on the roster.
In the end, I have my doubts that the Rams would make a move for Mikell, despite the Spagnuolo connection.